USA Hockey Team Wins Opener

Young squad easily handles Switzerland, 3-1
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 16, 2010 5:04 PM CST
USA Hockey Team Wins Opener
USA's David Backes, center, celebrates with Brian Rafalski (28), Bobby Ryan (54), and Ryan Callahan (24), after Backes scored.   (Julie Jacobson)

The US kids were all right. The youngest collection of American hockey players since the NHL began supplying the talent for the 1998 Nagano Games opened this tournament with a workmanlike 3-1 victory over Switzerland today. Bobby Ryan scored late in the first period, and David Backes and Ryan Malone added goals in the second to help the United States avoid an opening-game letdown.

Ryan Miller, considered the key to the US chances to reach the podium, was solid in making 14 saves. He turned aside the handful of scoring opportunities the Swiss created and complied with rules barring corporate sponsorships by placing tape over the words "Miller Time" painted on his mask. The team plays Norway on Thursday. (More 2010 Vancouver Olympics stories.)

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